Halloran and Reds aiming for home final
The equation for Adelaide United is simple: win their remaining two matches and they will have secured fourth place and with it a home final.
The Reds currently occupy fourth spot and lie one point clear of both fifth and sixth-ranked Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City respectively.
Ben Halloran admitted now that the Reds have guaranteed a place in the Finals Series, the focus is on ensuring they stay in their incumbent position ahead of their impending matches against Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar.
“The goal in the previous weeks was to just the make the finals,” he told reporters after training.
“Now we’ve consolidated ourselves in the six and we’re sitting fourth so it’s ours to lose.
“If we can beat Victory and get a good result against Brisbane then we’re guaranteed to finish fourth and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
However, the 26-year-old knows Friday night’s Original Rivalry blockbuster at Coopers Stadium presents a difficult challenge.
But he suggested the team can take confidence from their previous performance against Victory which saw United record a 2-0 home win following a scintillating first-half display.
“Attacking-wise they’re brilliant,” Halloran said, when asked how they go about beating Victory.
“They’ve got world class players that can make a difference.
“But we’ll probably approach it the way we did in the first game. We’ll look to press them, try and get on the front foot because we’re going to be at home.
“We did it last time so there’s no reason we can’t do it again.”
More than 12,000 fans filed through the turnstiles in the pair’s most recent meeting back in January, and Halloran hoped even more fans would come and show their support.
“We always get a really good turnout,” he said.
“I think the last match against them where we beat them at home was probably the best atmosphere we’ve had all season outside of the cup final.
“So always playing against Victory is a good game.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 19 April at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACST. Gates open 5.50pm.